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1 May 2013


I have the best mom ever and the pilots have the best Mummu ever!  She is completely devoted to her grand babies.  There's rarely a day that goes by that she doesn't see them.  So for this Mother's Day I wanted to make her something extra special.  She has been asking for more pictures of the boys for awhile now and so I made her this:

It's a brag book with her favourite photos of my boys.  It turned out so nice that I am very tempted to keep it for myself!  I heart it so much! :)  You may recognize the polka dot fabric from the fabric baskets I made for Easter.  The ribbon I had in my stash.  I chose this combination since I knew that Mummu loves polka dots and her favourite colour is yellow.

This is a great project for using up some fabric scraps.  It is also has very minimal sewing.  The only sewing is for attaching the ribbon at the back and the zigzag stitch around the photos.  I used yellow thread to tie in the yellow ribbon.  You could leave out the sewing and just use glue for the photos and ribbon to make this a no sew project.

Some more photos to show you the details and because I like the bokeh in the background from the sun shining through the bare trees. :)  Oh, I'm so happy to finally be able to take some photos outside!

The overall size of the brag book is 5" square and the photos are 3" square.  This would be perfect for your instagram pictures.  I used a combination of iphone photos and regular photos (you may recognize many of them from my previous posts).

Do you want to see how I made this?  Continue reading for the tutorial....

Brag Book How-To:

  •  1 piece 5" x 30" heavy weight bristol board (found in the artist's paper section of the craft store) **mine is the vellum type that flakes a little when you fold it.  If you want a cleaner fold then go for the smooth bristol board.
  • two - 5" square pieces of embroidery mounting board (it has one side that is sticky)
  • two - 7" square pieces of fabric
  • ten - 3" square photos (instagram photos work well or use photoshop, pic monkey, etc. to crop your photos into 3" squares).  *I used photoshop to make two squares on an 5" x 7" and had these printed.  If you don't want a border around your photos like I did then you can technically fit two 3" squares on a 4" x 6"print
  • 23" length of ribbon
  • coordinating thread (mine was yellow)
  • scrapbook glue
  • photo adhesive or double-sided tape
The brag book consists of two covers and an accordion folded photo board.  The finished size is 5" square.


Cut out your materials:

Step 1:  Cut out your fabric, ribbon, bristol board, embroidery mounting board and photos to the sizes indicated in the material list above.

Make the covers:

Step 2:  Sew the midpoint of your ribbon to the middle of the fabric square for your back panel.  (You could glue the ribbon on if you don't have a sewing machine).
Step 3:  Remove the backing from your embroidery mounting board.
Step 4:  Mount the embroidery board sticky side onto the wrong side of your fabric square.  I used a ruler to measure an inch at the top and side to get my board centred on the fabric.  Then turn the fabric cover over and smooth out any wrinkles in the fabric.
Step 5:  Put 1" wide band of scrapbooking glue all around the edges of the backside of the embroidery board.  Pull the excess fabric toward the back and glue down making triangles at the corners.  (this is where Co-pilot woke up from his nap and in my haste to get the cover glued before he got too hungry, I forgot to take pictures. So sorry!).  Clip the excess fabric triangle from the corner and overlap the cut edges and glue down.  The idea is to get rid of some of the excess fabric at the corner.  Put the covers under some weight and let the glue dry completely.

To make the photo board:

Step 6:  Measure and mark your bristol board strip every 5" at the top and bottom.
Step 7:  Accordian fold your paper by lining up your markings and folding towards you.  Mark the front and back squares with an "x" to remind you that these will attach to your covers and will not have a photo on them.

Attaching the photos:

Step 8:  Use your photo adhesive or double-sided tape to attach your photos in the centre of each of the squares you folded.  There will be a photo on only one side of each of the ends and a photo on both sides of the rest of the four squares.  Hold your paper up to a window when attaching the photo on the opposite side so that you can line them up.
Step 9:  Use a sewing machine and zigzag around the edges of the photos.

Attach the photo board to your covers:

Step 10:  Use scrapbook glue to glue the marked top and bottom squares of you photo board to the front and back covers respectively.  You'll want to put some weight on it while it dries (e.g., a stack of books).

Once everything has dried, you can tie your bow and enjoy your super sweet brag book and know that you have just made the perfect Mother's day gift!


  1. What an exellent idea! Your tutorial was easy to follow step by step.

    1. Thanks Minna! It was a fun and easy project. :)

  2. Oh, I used to make these when I was a teenager :) Thanks for the reminder! It turned out great!

    1. Thanks so much Lena! It's nice to be able to actually print out some photos and have something tangible. I probably made something like this as a teenager as well. :)

  3. What a lovely idea! Mummu is going to be super happy! I'm sure of that. Have to make one of those myself for my mother.... maybe not for mother's day but some other surprise. :)

    1. Thanks Ina! I'm liking it so much that I may have to make another. :)

  4. Pinned! This is a great grandmother gift! Thanks for the inspiration!

    A Tossed Salad Life

    1. Thanks so much for pinning! :)

  5. Genius idea and sweet photos! Love your project!Thanks so much for sharing the great tutorial! Would love to have you visit me sometime.
    Have a fabulous day!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  6. That is really lovely. I love the stitching detail. Perfect!

  7. This is absolutely adorable! Wish I had seen it before this morning or I would have included in my post today on crafty Mother's day gifts! Great job :)

    Chaney (came over from Craftberry Bush's link up!)

  8. So pretty Anu and an absolutely perfect gift idea. Fabulous detailed tutorial too! Great job:)
    Krista @thehappyhousie

  9. This is such a great gift idea!! Thanks for linking up and have a great weekend!

  10. Just stopping by to let you know I featured you on my blog today:) Have a great Monday!


  11. I could not find the Pres-on embroidery board. Is there an item it is near? Or a product you think you could substitute? Thanks. I love the homemade accordion vs. ordering one from a photo company.

    1. Hi Sheena, The Pres-On board I had on hand and haven't looked for it recently at the craft store. It is usually in the cross stitch section .If you go to a place like Michael's with the framing department, they maybe able to help you out or suggest something similar. You could probably substitute with some stiff board like chipboard and glue the fabric on. There's a link in the post to where you can order the pres-on board in the "materials" section. I hope that helps!

    2. I used 4x4 canvases from michaels. They had some already covered in burlap so I was able to skip the fabric step, although I do like the fabric appearance.

    3. That's a great idea Tiffany! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Adorable!! I love this :)

    I've featured on my blog today!


  13. Found you over at Monday Funday. Super Cute!

    1. Thanks so much. Glad you stopped by. :)

  14. Found you on The Naptime Review. LOVE LOVE LOVE this. Pinning immediately! Would love for you to swing by THE Pin It Party on Creative Geekery on Thursday! XO

  15. This is a great gift idea and perfect for Mother's Day and any gift really!!! Thanks for sharing...cute kiddos too!
    xo, Jennifer @Blissfully Ever After

  16. This is absolutely adorable and I love it. Pinning!

  17. This is so sweet! I love the stitching around the photos. Great idea for Mother's Day. Also, if you're interested...we are doing a craft link up on our blog (you can win free ad space), this would be great for the link up! http://themerrythought.com/diy/merry-makes/


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